Aggressive capex model seals PEI victory at Mactaa
- From: Vol 10, Issue 10 (October 2009)
- Category: General
- Region: Middle East
- Country: Algeria
- Related Companies: Energy Recovery Inc, Hyflux, Pump Engineering and Sulzer Pumps
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Pump Engineering’s breakthrough into the large-scale SWRO market marks new territory in the energy recovery market. It may not be the end of the story for isobaric devices, however.
Pump Engineering has finally confirmed that it has won the contract to supply energy recovery devices to the 500,000m3/d Mactaa SWRO plant in Algeria.
PEI will supply 25 of its HTC-AT 7200 turbochargers to plant developer Hyflux, although it wasn’t a clean sweep for the company’s pump and turbocharger combination. The pump supply contract has been awarded to Swiss-based Sulzer Pumps.
PEI’s Bob Oklejas explained to GWI that the risk profile of taking on a contract as large as the pump and turbocharger wrap was unsuitable for his company at the time. Nevertheless, the company beat off stiff competition to secure the turbo supply contract – thought to be worth between $7 and $10 million – after two years of intense discussions.
Hyflux’s lifecycle evaluation of the different energy recovery options was “very, very aggressive” on the capex requirements, according to one source. Minimising the operating expenditure will have been less of a priority for the Singaporean company because of the relatively low $0.04/kWh power tariff on offer at Mactaa. The approach has led to a step change in the Algerian energy recovery market, where Energy Recovery Inc. has secured victories at nine of the ten most recent large-scale SWRO projects.
Nevertheless, industry sources estimate that the efficiency losses of 15-20% associated with using turbochargers rather than isobaric devices will lead to $80-90 million of additional expenditure on energy by Hyflux over the 25-year term of the Mactaa BOOT contract. As such, retrofitting the plant with isobaric devices several years down the line could suddenly look very attractive.